Thakur flags off direct shipping service between Tuticorin and Maldives from V.O. Chidambaranar Port

New Delhi, May 5, 2023 

Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways  Shantanu Thakur flagged off the direct shipping service between Tuticorin and Maldives from V O Chidambaranar port today.

During the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Maldives in June 2019, he and the Maldives President dwelt on the need to improve connectivity between India and Maldives through the establishment of enabling infrastructure. It would also give impetus to bilateral trade between the two countries.

To take this forward and to reaffirm the mutual understanding between the two Nations this service was being operated as a culmination of the Memorandum of Understanding signed for the Establishment of Passenger and Cargo Services by Sea between the Ministry of Port, Shipping & Waterways and Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation,  Maldives on June 8, 2019, during the State Visit of Prime Minister of India to Maldives. This is also in line with the ‘Neighbourhood-First Policy’ and the vision of Security and Growth for all in the Region.

The vessel ‘M.V. MSS Galena’ with a carrying capacity of 421 TEUs of containers & provision to carry bulk cargo, deployed by the Shipping Corporation of India, arrived at  PSA SICAL Container Terminal today.  It was loaded with 270 TEUs of containers at PSA SICAL Container Terminal. The ship will sail from Tuticorin to Male tomorrow. It is scheduled to reach Male on May 7. The rotation of this shipping service is Tuticorin – Male – Tuticorin and is scheduled to make three calls a month.

Speaking on the occasion Thakur said the launch of this service will not only help to cut the logistics and other costs but also increase connectivity and reduce the time taken to transport goods between the two countries. This service has added a new chapter to connectivity initiatives taken by both countries in (IOR) Indian Ocean Region, promoting, developing and stabilising shipping connectivity between Indian & Maldivian ports. 

This will further give impetus to bilateral trade and lead to greater trade & economic opportunities, he added.

Earlier the bulk cargo bound to Maldives from Tuticorin was sent through barges and sail ships and the containers bound to Maldives are routed through Colombo. A service between Tuticorin -  Kochi - Kulhudhuffushi - Male was operated by SCI. Vessel ‘MCP Linz’  with a capacity of 200 TEUs of containers and 3000 Tonnes of general cargo was launched on September 21, 2020. The Contract concluded on August 28, 2022.


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